The Kandy to Ella train is the most scenic train ride in Sri Lanka and is a must do when you visit Sri Lanka. During our 3 weeks in Sri Lanka itinerary, we enjoyed this amazing trip and took the Kandy to Ella train
With misty mountain views, rice fields, and tea plantations as far as the eye can see, it’s an extremely popular attraction in Sri Lanka.
We created this article, to help you book your tickets, which class to choose and to give you some extra useful tips to enjoy the world’s most scenic train ride from Kandy to Ella or Ella to Kandy.
Read also: Sri Lanka in 3 weeks: the ultimate travel itinerary
Where to stay in Ella or Kandy?
Our trip in Sri Lanka was during the Sinhalese Tamil New Year in April. All the locals were crossing the country to visit their families and closed their shops, guesthouses or restaurants, which made it harder to find places to eat or stay.
Before we took the Ella to Kandy train, we stayed a few days in Ella to explore the amazing places in the surrounding area. In Kandy we stayed only 1 night as many places were closed or booked out.
How to book your tickets for the Kandy to Ella train or Ella to Kandy train?
Having said that the Kandy to Ella train ride is one of the most popular things to do in Sri Lanka, be sure you book your tickets in advance. There are two ways for it:
- simply go to the train station right away when you arrive in Ella. The station can be found right in the center, on a small side street of the main street. Grab a tuk-tuk via the free travel app PickMe or use Maps.me for the right direction. See also: The 11 best and free travel apps every traveler needs for more useful apps.
- Or pre-book your Ella to Kandy train tickets online via the online ticket search box from 12go.asia below before you get to Sri Lanka to avoid the hustle at the train station (you can book train tickets 30 days prior to the traveling date)
There are two express trains a day departing from Ella with a fixed schedule which you can check via the official Sri Lanka Railways website www.railway.gov.lk. You can also take the train ride the other way around, from Kandy to Ella. It’s the same route with the same beautiful sceneries.
Book tickets for the Ella to Kandy train or Kandy to Ella train here
Which class to book on the Kandy to Ella train?
There are four types of classes you can book for the Kandy to Ella train, simply named: 1st, 2nd, 2nd reserved seats, and 3rd class. Prices vary from Rs 150 to Rs 350.
- 1st class: numbered seats, can be booked in advance, super comfortable with a lot of privacy, compartments have air conditioning, no open windows to hang out (but you can walk to 2nd class easily)
- 2nd class reserved seats – tickets we’ve booked: numbered seats and can be booked in advance, seats are super comfortable, windows and doors are open (great for pictures)
- 2nd class: same as 2nd class reserved seats but not numbered. (no seat guarantee) They can only be bought on the day of travel.
- 3rd class: wooden benches, not numbered, most cheap option and great for those who want to sit or stand in between the locals
Extra useful tips for taking the Kandy to Ella train
- Do like we did and take the Ella to Kandy train and not from Kandy to Ella. Why? Less crowded, a better chance for taking pictures, plenty of seats free, same scenic views!
- Keep your ticket until you get off the train. You need to show it when exiting the station.
- Bring toilet paper, sanitizer, a lot of snacks and water with you
- You’ll have great views no matter where you sit (right or left). it’s allowed to walk around the train so you can watch views from both sides.
- Think about taking the train that only stops at Peradeniya station and not Kandy station. The train is much quieter and offers you a better chance of getting a seat. (We didn’t know we booked this train, but can only highly recommend it. The station is a 10-minute drive from Kandy and you can easily take a tuk-tuk or a taxi from there)
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